In the Age of 5G, LTE Remains an Important Anchor

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By Kangrui Ling | 2Q 2021 | IN-6128


LTE Will Still Be Responsible for a Majority of Data Traffic in the Near Future


ABI Research forecasts Long-Term Evolution (LTE) to generate the most data traffic globally up until 2025, at which point 5G will overtake by 2026 (LTE and 5G combined will generate 1,600 exabytes of mobile data globally by 2026). As such, LTE still remains responsible for the majority of the data traffic for the next five years and will still be an essential technology to enable Mobile Broadband (MBB) in emerging markets. For developed markets, an extensive LTE network is foundational as an anchor for 5G Nonstandalone (NSA), and higher LTE coverage can serve rural areas and improve the initial user experience for 5G as users will experience LTE and 5G concurrently on the same spectrum through dynamic spectrum sharing, in which areas with limited 5G coverage will switch to LTE to ensure a consistent flow of data traffic.

To accommodate LTE’s data traffic, there is a need to optimize spectrum capacity and efficiency. Most LTE access spectrum is deployed in the sub-6 GHz band (which includes both low band and mid-band)—a well …

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